Rosicrucianism, Modern Science, and Children’s Art

I started to write a general piece on how the curriculum book, “The Educational Tasks and Content of the Steiner Waldorf Curriculum”, mentioned in the previous post, includes examples of how “striving towards clairvoyance” is incorporated in the Steiner school curriculum, and found there is much more to this unbelievably strange resource for teachers than can be explained in one post.

So here I focus on one part in particular that caught my interest.

In the curriculum for classes 1 – 3, in “form drawing “classes, there is the following statement;

Form drawing in class 3 is linked to “mental pictures” and says that the “life of feeling” is used as an “organ of perception”.

“Mental picturing” and the “organ of perception” relate to clairvoyance; in mainstream biology or psychology there is no use for these terms. They are only used in circles where clairvoyance is given credibility.

Here we take a diversion into Rosicrucianism, which is where Steiner got his ideas about organs of perception, and incorporated them into anthroposophy.

On their website, clairvoyance is explained and there is a paragraph or two about “organs of perception”. Here two particular organs of perception are mentioned; The pituitary body and the pineal gland. They say that medical science knows little about them and that the  pineal gland is also known as the “third eye”

This is incorrect. It is a version of physiology dating from Steiner’s era, before Melatonin and other compounds were discovered. Clearly the Rosicrucians are living in the past as well as the anthroposophists.

On wiki, there is an explanation of how and why some people today still see the pineal gland as an organ of perception; It says that in New Age religions, Theosophy and Pagan religions the idea of mystical awakening attributes significance to the inner third eye. Also that there is no clinical evidence to support these assertions.

As you will find if you follow the link to the Rosicrucians, Atlantis and Lemuria have made an appearance in this topic. The Rosicrucian Fellowship describe themselves as “An association of Christian Mystics”. Rosicrucianism is a secret society formed in Medieval Germany which influenced  Freemasonry and Golden Dawn, and is symbolised by the Rosy Cross. Steiner gave six lectures on it called  “Theosophy of the Rosicrucian”. He said that The Rosicrucian path is easier for  “those who have to live in the present age” to follow than the purely Christian way, and that it is the most recent way of attaining wisdom

Of course this is not “wisdom” in the normal sense of the word – but we are wise to this doublespeak now.

Here is Steiner’s lecture on the etherization of the blood

He talks about clairvoyance and made a drawing of how “…certain rays of light are seen streaming continually from the heart toward the head. ..continuous streamings from there to the brain, flowing in the head around the organ known in anatomy as the pineal gland.”

As you see I have spent some time finding out about clairvoyance. This is not something I am interested in, as it happens, and who would have thought that a curriculum book for state-funded schools would lead us to this kind of pseudoscience? What I am interested in is that Steiner schools are secretively using this material in the classroom, and obtaining public funding to do it.

They must be laughing all the way to the bank.

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3 comments

  1. Helen

    The part from Steiner about “those who have to live in the present age” suddenly reminded me of the title of that talk given by a member of the School of Spiritual science at a nearby Steiner school. I mentioned it in “Associative economics”. The title was “Economics – a guide for the living today”. If you remember the speaker claimed in a comment here on the blog that he did not write the title but declined to tell us what it meant. Perhaps I should have gone out for that drink with him…

  2. Jim

    It’s not just the clairvoyance in itself which is such a problem. At one level you could just dismiss it as silly but essentially harmless. But the claim to clairvoyance leads in Steiner’s case to a whole mass of further, and more troubling, assertions about science, medicine, agriculture, education and pretty much any other subject you care to name. And these don’t need to be supported by evidence because they are insights gained by clairvoyant means and so beyond challenge. It’s a neat trick – if you don’t agree with Steiner it’s because you are not yet spiritually developed enough to share his insights.
    Or gullible enough…….

  3. Helen

    Yes, all Steiner enterprises could be described as a “neat trick”.
    What do we think – was Steiner a con-artist or delusional? The same question could be asked of Joseph Smith and L Ron Hubbard.

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